Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Losing the high road

AP report -- DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Organizers of a major Dubai women's tennis tournament say fears of protests and security threats were behind the decision to bar the entry of an Israeli player.

The statement Tuesday was the first from the Dubai Tennis Championships. It came three days after the Emirates denied a visa for Shahar Peer ... The statement said the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza "antagonized" local fans and Peer's presence could have sparked protests, boycotts and threats.

Since Geert Wilders was denied entry at Heathrow on a similar basis, does this mean that the UK government would have no particular objection to the UAE denying entry to Israeli athletes, once it gets couched as a security concern?

UPDATE: The logic of the Wilders ban would also seem to require a ban on Republic of Ireland Glasgow Celtic supporters travelling to Scotland, since their presence apparently incites protests from Glasgow Rangers fans.

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